Securing water supplies for the future

Ensuring resilient infrastructure is a key part of our long-term water resources planning. 

We work closely with the Environment Agency to review our abstraction licences, and we’ve agreed to reduce the amount of water we take from the environment by 84 million litres a day by 2025. 

A new £9 million scheme in Ludham, in the Norfolk Broads, designed to maintain water supplies to 3,000 homes while protecting the precious environment of Catfield Fen, exemplifies how we’re doing just that.  

Previously, the public water supply for this area came from a borehole close to Ludham itself. This scheme has seen us install a brand new three-kilometre pipeline to connect Ludham to Horstead Water Tower, meaning we no longer need to take water from this groundwater source.  

Sarah Underhill, Regional Water Resources Manager

“We face some unique challenges in the Anglian Water region.  We operate in the driest part of the country, receiving only two thirds of UK average rainfall. This is also one of the fastest growing in terms of population and home to over 100 environmentally important areas that are internationally recognised. All of which puts significant pressure on the water resources we have available now and for the future.  Our role as a water company is to carefully manage our customers’ demand for water and the needs of the wider environment simultaneously. We work closely with the Environment Agency to review our abstraction licences to ensure we continue to strike that fine balance.  Between now and 2025 we have agreed to reduce the amount of water we take from the environment by 84 million litres a day. This pipeline project at Ludham is one of the first schemes to be implemented to fulfil this commitment.  The new pipeline means we can turn off our groundwater abstraction at Ludham. This will protect the environment in a much loved part of our region whilst keeping taps running for thousands of nearby homes for years to come.”

The scheme has been fully funded by Green Bonds. Ultimately, the water in the tower comes from one of the company’s main treatment centres at Heigham in Norwich, which itself benefited from a £34 million investment funded by Green Bonds in 2019/20. 

A new booster station and additional water storage facility at Horstead will pump water directly to customers’ taps. 

Both the Ludham and Heigham investments will complement our biggest ever single infrastructure programme: the construction of hundreds of kilometres of strategic interconnecting pipelines to bring water from areas of greater abundance to areas of scarcity.

To find out more about the £1 billion plus of Green Bonds we’ve secured since 2017, and what they’re funding, check out our Green Bond Impact Report 2020